Temple Baptist Church - 12-1-2010
A. Last week, we saw that walking worthy in our “Unity In Fellowship.” The unity of the church is of the utmost importance and that is why it is so fervently attacked. The enemies of God hate the bible believing local church.
B. Tonight, I want to preach on walking worthy in our “Unity In Faith.” Last Sunday night, I preached on the commanded “separatism” of the local assembly. It was not a battle ground of my choosing but a commandment of God! We are not “separatists” because we are hard hearted or unloving; we are “separatists” because that is God’s way of protecting both the believer and the local church.
C. One of the “wiles” of the devil is to attack the foundations of our faith. He does this for a reason: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Satan cannot destroy our salvation but he can destroy our effectiveness in building saints and winning souls. I cannot over emphasis the importance of doctrinal purity! Jude 3 says that we are to “earnestly contend” for the faith ONCE delivered. Why? Because God will not “deliver” it again.
D. Doctrinal truth is a battle ground of great proportion and importance. It is the “basis” for our faith! It is the “seed” of salvation to a lost world! It is the only “hope” of our children!
E. In these verses, we find ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all! This leaves no room for doctrinal difference! God is not the Author of confusion but of peace and unity in the local church. Doctrinal differences bring about schisms within the body and a rift between the pulpit and the pew.
F. Doctrinal ignorance abounds in most churches. I am proud of our people because, for the most part, they are mature in the faith and know what they believe. Doctrinal ignorance has several sources:
1. A lack of Spiritual Growth - Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Hebrews 5:11-12 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (12) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
2. A lack of Spiritual Discernment - 1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
3. A lack of Spiritual Separation - Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
4. A lack of Spiritual Teaching – 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Ezekiel 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
5. A lack of Spiritual Concern – John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (17) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
6. A lack of the Spirit Himself - 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
SOUND DOCTRINE AND THE BELIEVER
1. We Are To Continue Steadfastly in Sound Doctrine - Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
2. We Are To Guard Against False Doctrine – 1 Timothy 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
3. We Are To Teach Sound Doctrine – 1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
4. We Are To Heed The Doctrine – 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
5. We Are To Appreciate Sound Doctrine – 1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.